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All Aboard Ohio Secures Historic Charitable Gifts

Nearly $100,000 in funding will support passenger rail initiatives across the Buckeye State


Officials with All Aboard Ohio (AAO) announced this week that a $55,700 bequest from the estate of Ronald G. Hanks marks the single largest charitable investment that AAO has received in its 50-year history as the only statewide passenger rail and public transit advocacy organization in the Buckeye State. Mr. Hanks, a longtime resident of the Greater Cincinnati area and retired P&G employee, was an avid rail enthusiast who passed away in December 2022.


“Ron joined All Aboard Ohio in the early 2000s and was a strong supporter of reviving and expanding intercity passenger rail not just in Ohio but across the country,” shared AAO Executive Director Stu Nicholson. “In fact, he also bequeathed an identical donation to the national advocacy organization, Rail Passengers Association.”


Funding will support AAO’s efforts to advocate for efficient, effective intercity passenger rail and local public transit throughout Ohio, as well as to educate the public about the benefits of such a transit system.


Nicholson also announced that AAO is the recipient of a matching gift opportunity with Covington, KY-based Devou Good Foundation. The foundation will match up to $37,500 in charitable gifts made to AAO over the next four months.


“This opportunity could not have come at a better time, as we are awaiting word on several grant awards that are to be issued by the Federal Railroad Administration,” said AAO Board of Directors Chairperson Erin Rosiello. “The grant awards will greenlight major feasibility studies for up to a half dozen passenger rail corridors around Ohio.”

In addition to the potential grant funding, AAO plans to maximize the matching gift opportunity by seeking investments from individual and corporate philanthropists who support the organization’s vision for more and better trains in Ohio. The funds raised will support the multiple advocacy and education events planned by AAO for the fourth quarter of this year, while also establishing a solid foundation for the organization’s 2024 strategic business plan.


“To receive nearly $100,000 in funding commitments within one week speaks to the public’s support of the work that All Aboard Ohio does,” said Nicholson. “We are dedicated to continuing to partner with local, state, and federal governments, as well as businesses, organizations, and communities, to bring to life our vision of an innovative, robust public transportation system here in Ohio.”

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